Special statement by Sri Lanka’s Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe

Ranil Wickremesinghe - Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. (AP Photo / Eranga Jayawardena)

Sri Lanka’s Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe, delivering a special statement, said that he would not allow any action that is in violation of the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the Acting President before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya this morning (July 15) to fill the post left vacant following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“I will never pave the way for, or aid in any unconstitutional act,” he said in a special televised statement, adding the collapse in law and order will negatively impact the country’s economy.

He warned that the supply chain of food, electricity, and water may be disrupted, and the people must understand the dangerous situation ahead.

He said a special committee has been appointed with the Chief of Defence Staff, Inspector General of Police, and Commanders of the three-armed forces to maintain law and order in the country with zero political intervention.

He said the 19th Amendment to the constitution should be implemented again in its entirety, and the necessary groundwork will be implemented.

“Rather than protecting individuals, protect the country,” he noted, adding that the country must exist to live and engage in politics.

Acting President Wickremesinghe said that the practice of addressing the President as “His Excellency” will be banned while the Presidential Flag will be abolished as the country must gather around only one flag, that is the national flag.

Commenting on the protests that have been taking place in the country, Wickremesinghe said “Peaceful protests are accepted, however, there are some engaged in acts of sabotage. It is reported that some are attempting to mount pressure on MPs when they meet in Parliament for the election of a new President. These MPs will be given full security. No group will be allowed to ruin Parliamentary democracy,” he said.

“There are fascist groups that are trying to incite violence in the country. Such groups snatched weapons and ammunition from the soldiers recently. 24 soldiers have been injured and two of them are in critical condition,” said the Acting President.

Ranil Wickremesinghe takes oath as the Acting President in Colombo Sri Lanka

Ranil Wickremesinghe takes oath as the Acting President of Sri Lanka, Friday, July 15, 2022. (Sri Lankan President’s Office via AP)